I have a trip booked for Las Vegas May 28th – June 2nd. The outbound fare was a little high at 13,698 points (about $205) and the inbound flight was a bargain at 2500 points (about $42). I get a lot of emails from Southwest and one advertised one of their many fare sales. I checked my flights and noticed that the outbound fare went down from 13,698 to 12,610, a difference of 1,088 points. Not a huge difference and on most airlines, not even worth bothering to do. But with Southwest, a simple call to their 800 number, 8 minutes on the phone and the change was completed. I should note that this is a companion fare flight, so my wife is travelling for free. To do this change on line, I would have to cancel my flight, wait for the system to automatically cancel the companion fare, rebook my flight and add the companion fare. In this case, calling the 800 number is quicker and easier. No other airline makes flight changes so easy, and so inexpensive (free).
Also, from now through March 10th, you can get one Chase southwest card, complete the minimum spend of $5000 in 3 months, earn 30,000 RR points AND get companion fare through February 28th, 2022. I call this Companion Fare Light. You’ll have it for 9 to 11.5 months, but you only need to get one credit card. There are 3 different cards that qualify with varying annual fees and benefits. No matter which one you choose, it is a great deal.
Southwest has extended companion fare status for those whose status would have ended on 12/31/20 until June 30, 2021. My current companion fare ends on 12/31/21 so I am hoping they extend that as well. I don’t know if they will extend the Companion Fare Light or not.
Even if you sign up for the highest annual fee card ($149) and complete the spend and never take flight, the card is still worth $200. You can get many different gift cards at 1 to 1. (30,000 point bonus plus 5000 points for the spend, less $149 for the annual fee). If you get companion fare and use it, it is the best travel deal going.
Southwest also gives you bonus miles on your anniversary that offset much of the annual fee cost. So, if you like the card, the true cost is less than half of the annual fee. If Southwest works with your location and travel plans, it is a great way to travel cheaply. Yes, finding direct flights is more of a challenge on Southwest so it is a time vs money tradeoff ( like a lot of things).
One final plus about Southwest is they are very flexible when they change your itinerary. My flight time in bound flight time ( on a different trip) moved by a couple hours and I was allowed to change both the outbound and inbound flight up to 14 days book almost any other flight between the same cities. If I cancel, the points or money paid for the ticket is refunded to your account and has to be used within a year. No charge for doing so. I wish all airlines were this flexible on changes to travel.